UNION CITY, N.J. (AP) — A fast-moving house fire killed a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl on Friday and injured at least six other people.
The fire, at a multifamily home in Union City, started shortly before 9 a.m. and quickly consumed the home and damaged a neighboring house, sending flames and smoke high into the sky. It was brought under control about 30 minutes later.
Hudson County prosecutor Esther Suarez declined to release the names of the children killed in the fire before their relatives had been notified. Suarez said three of the injured people remained hospitalized Friday afternoon in critical condition, while another was in stable condition.
Eight firefighters were treated at hospitals, mostly for smoke inhalation or heat-related issues.
Mayor Brian Stack said he was devastated by the tragedy.
“My heart is broken,” Stack said at the scene. “It’s a very tough day for Union City.”
Neighbor Elio Hernandez said he had spoken earlier in the morning with the mother of one of the children killed in the blaze.
“I said, ‘You’re up early,’ and she said she was running out to get milk for her children since they’re on summer vacation,” he said.
About 30 people were displaced by the fire and were receiving help from the American Red Cross.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.